A beautiful lawn is a great asset to your home. It’s the perfect place to host summer barbecues, family get-togethers, and brunches with friends. Most people think that a healthy lawn takes more work than it really does. The truth is that you have to work smarter, not harder, to keep your lawn looking good all year. These five tips will get you off on the right foot.
Choose The Right Seed
Many people make their first mistake on the lawn by choosing the wrong grass. While all grasses look similar, they are not all the same. Grasses fall into two major categories: cool-season species and warm-season species.
Cool-season grasses green up in early spring, then go dormant during the summer heat. They green up again in the fall. Warm-season grasses grow only in hot conditions, quickly turning brown at the first frost. If both types are present in your lawn, you will have a blotchy appearance that is never completely green. Choose one or the other, never a mix.
Fertilizer can make or break your lawn. Too much nitrogen can create fast growth that invites diseases to attack, but fertilizing too lightly will starve your lawn. The only way to know how much fertilizer your lawn needs is to have a soil sample sent to a lab for analysis. This test only costs a few dollars and can be done through your county’s Cooperative Extension Service office.
Once you know what it needs, you should fertilize your lawn at the right time of year. Early spring is when many people apply fertilizer, but fall is better. Spring applications encourage top growth with no roots to feed them. The result is a big, vigorous blade with no way to get deep water during dry weather. Fall application creates a healthier root system that will sustain the grass through tough summer conditions.
Go Beyond The Lawn
Outside factors can also influence your lawn’s health. Pollutants of every kind can damage your grass, creating dead patches that could take weeks or months to repair. Never dump mop water or other household waste on your lawn. If you have a swimming pool, manage it wisely. Never clean it recklessly with high doses of chemicals. Instead, follow the techniques of workers who provide pool cleaning services. One pool cleaning service in Windermere, FL, advises using correct amounts of chemicals with appropriate backwash techniques.
Think about other cleanings as well. If you use strong soaps to clean vehicles, siding, or sidewalks, the runoff can be hard on your grass. If it snows, use a shovel to clean walks and driveways as much as possible, using minimal salt as the last resort to prevent damage to the grass.
Mow The Right Way
Cutting your grass is another job that’s not as simple as it sounds. Sure, it’s easy to go out there and chop it off to a lower height, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Poor grass cutting techniques can create dead areas, encourage diseases, and give weeds a free pass.
The carbohydrates that support the regrowth of grass after mowing are found in the lowest portion of the stem. If you mow the grass too short, you will eliminate that food supply and make it tougher for the grass to grow back. At a minimum, it will rebound more slowly, leaving more exposed soil for weeds to come and visit–and then to move in permanently. Make sure your blade is sharp enough to cut grass cleanly, and never mow a drought-stressed lawn.
Take Care Of Pests
If you want to keep your backyard looking beautiful then you need to make sure that you’ve taken care of any pests that might have wandered into your backyard. Pests can create holes in your lawn, eat your plants, and destroy vegetation. Voles, moles, rats, and even deer can wreak havoc on your perfectly maintained yard. If you struggle with any of these animals consider calling someone that can take care of them for you or look up easy ways to get rid of them. For example, if you are suffering from deer trying to eat your rose bushes consider building a fence, using motion sensor floodlights to scare them or creating your own spray to put on your plants to deter them from eating them.
Many of these tips have already touched on disease control. Proper fertilization and mowing play a big part in keeping your lawn from getting sick. In addition, you should make every effort to manage moisture in your lawn.
Wet conditions are just what a fungus wants, and most lawn diseases are fungal in nature. Just as mushrooms and other good fungi grow well in damp areas, bad fungi need a reliable source of water as well. Think about drainage in your lawn. Find a way to remove standing water from muddy areas, and direct your gutter downspouts away from areas where the water may accumulate.
Good timing and good decisions are responsible for most of the good outcomes in a lawn. Whether you are just learning how to take care of a lawn or are looking to improve the appearance of your backyard these techniques can help your lawn look beautiful all year. If you follow these recommendations, your lawn will benefit.